Relationships of all kinds can be tricky to navigate. When first learning how to even have a relationship, our primary connection is with our family. Once children mature, however, there are a variety of situations and circumstances which can influence how we handle romantic relationships.
What Does “Going Out” Mean?
The phrase “going out” has been around for decades, but its meaning is still ambiguous. Depending on how old the couple is and their own boundaries, going out can mean literally going out or it can mean texting.
Going out in middle school was often done in preparation for a more mature relationship later on. Here, the beginning stages of dating often include other people. Friends and friends of friends have a significant role in how the couple communicates.
As we age, communication becomes increasingly important in all relationships. By voicing what you want and listening to the other person’s point of view, you both can grow together while maintaining mutual respect. There are several ways to effectively communicate and not all of them have to do with the conversation.
Effective ways of communication include:
- Physical affection
- Eye contact
Going out usually involves a certain intensity of all these communication styles. Even if a couple isn’t physically going to a bar or to the movies, “going out” can be a symbol that the relationship is meaningful.
Labels: Are They Important?
Labels help people understand boundaries. In this sense, labels are very important. Unfortunately, labels can also become limiting.
Without labels, both individuals and groups may have trouble identifying themselves. If they cannot accurately identify what age range they are in, which profession they chose, and their level of involvement in relationships, it becomes difficult to understand the parameters.
Parameters in a relationship are usually there to protect feelings and signal to others that this is an exclusive relationship. Although that has been depicted as what most couples want, not everybody feels that way.
Friends With Benefits vs. Hook-Up Culture
The hook-up culture is not the same as the label “friends with benefits”. In the years of Sex and The City, hook-up culture was represented as an empowering way for women to get their needs met without necessarily subscribing to the status quo.
This sentiment was echoed throughout colleges and cities around the United States. The hook-up culture was largely seen as a positive interaction that involved a one-night stand. Messy relationships or breakfast were not required.
Friends with benefits is a term used to describe something a little less polarized. While it isn’t an exclusive relationship, it isn’t an alcohol-fueled one-night stand, either. It usually involves two people who already know each other that have sex on a somewhat regular basis.
Like hooking up, there is little commitment necessary. This allows both individuals to see and usually have sex with other people. Both hook-up culture and friends with benefits are ways to have a relationship (or not). I recommend getting on as many hookup sites and apps as possible. Peninsula Daily News article that covers the top 10 hookup apps that you should be on. Make sure you check that out as well.
The Pros of Friends With Benefits
Friends with benefits are friends. You like them. They are fun to hang out with and talk to when you’re feeling lonely or bored. For those who do not enjoy being alone at night, this is a solution that can help but does not require much emotional investment in return.
2. Low Key
Low expectations are one of the perks of having a friend with benefits. They generally do not demand much time or emotional support. Many people enjoy this situation because it affords the freedom to flirt or have sex with other people. There is no need to feel guilty about missed anniversaries or birthdays. If you’re busy, this is can be an ideal relationship.
3. Confidence Boost
Somebody who wants to see you again can be a confidence booster for anyone. This is especially true when they desire you or find you attractive. A friends with benefits situation can help both people feel sexy and in control.
4. A Potential Date
A plus 1 is always nice to have for weddings or evening events. While not every friend with benefits will be available or want to join, they are still friends. The communication style is usually smooth since there is little at stake emotionally and can make for a relaxing time out with friends.
The Cons of Friends With Benefits
1. No Emotional Requirements
The emotional side of a friend with benefits may be slim to none. Since there are very few demands made of the other person, emotional support and deep connection are not necessarily there. Having someone to share feelings with is possible in this kind of relationship, but it can lead to feelings of jealousy.
Many people find it difficult to separate physical and emotional feelings once sex is involved. With a no-strings-attached relationship, it can be difficult knowing the other person is out with someone else. Unanswered calls or texts can feel increasingly hurtful if this is not communicated early on.
3. You Might Fall In Love
Falling in love with someone who is emotionally unavailable is a recipe for heartbreak. Since one person cannot change another, the situation can be futile. Falling in love can happen even if you limit time with the other person and it can be difficult to turn away from it once it happens.
4. Low Esteem
While one-night stands and friends with benefits may initially boost confidence, it can also have the ability to lower self-esteem. Long-term relationships where there is little commitment can hinder the ability to meet new people. While not everyone is like this, the toll that a non-committed relationship can take is real.
A Committed Relationship
Committed relationships look different depending on the couple. Commonly committed relationships can include marriage, but they also include other arrangements as well.
Committed relationships can take the form of dating or dating while living under the same roof. One of the advantages of a committed relationship is the emotional security of knowing you’re both on the same page.
A committed relationship does not necessarily mean an exclusive relationship. Commitment means dedication. Some couples may find themselves in committed relationships while having rules or boundaries about flings. As long as the parameters of a relationship are well communicated, any couple has a chance to figure out what works best for them.
There is no right or wrong way to have a relationship as long as both people are in agreement. Once this is accomplished, the dating process can begin. If one way of dating does not suit the couple, trying another is always an option.